The Field of Management ' s Devotion to Theory : Too Much of a Good Thing?

  • Hambrick D
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Abstract

Many nice things can be said about theory. The ories help us organize our thoughts, generate coher ent explanations, and improve our predictions. In short, theories help us achieve understanding. But theories are not ends in themselves, and members of the academic field of management should keep in mind that a blanket insistence on theory, or the requirement of an articulation of theory in every thing we write, actually retards our ability to achieve our end: understanding. Our field's theory fetish, for instance, prevents the reporting of rich detail about interesting phenomena for which no theory yet exists. And it bans the reporting of facts?no matter how important or competently generated?that lack explanation, but that, once re stimulate the search for an ported, might explanation.

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Authors

  • Donald C Hambrick

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